Cheap stuff helps the High Street have best Christmas in years

23 January 2015

British high street People really went for it shopping-wise in December, according to new results from The Office for National Statistics.

The decline in prices due to supermarkets being at war with each other and snip-some petrol, helped retail achieve its strongest sales in over a decade

Prices in stores fell 2.2% in December compared to a year earlier, the biggest drop since June 2002.

The data is slightly wonky due to figures from 2013's Black Friday being added to that December's figures, whereas in 2014, the Friday was accounted for as part of November's figures.

But it's all quite promising, as the ONS said overall sales jumped 5% in the three months to December on the same period last year - the biggest increase since 2004, and was far better than them economists had predicted. The supermarket prices fell 0.9% in December, which reflect the price war, but also the general price of living in late 2014, with multiple discounting across the board.

However it's not all jolliness for retail, as department stores suffered most from the impact of Black Friday with online sales falling year on year for the first time since records began at the start of 2008, and month-on-month volumes fell by 4.5%, the worst decline since January 1996.

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at advisory group Deloitte, said: "This was a good Christmas with some strong performances, but it seems the real winner was the consumer. Intense competition and deep discounting both before and after Christmas drove sales but will have hit profits hard."

"When Black Friday comes next year many retailers will think very carefully about how to maximise the unquestionable customer demand while taking into account how it impacted profitability and trading through the Christmas period."

TOPICS:   Black Friday   Christmas

1 comment

  • Deary M.
    'Far better than them economists predicted'. Is using bad grammar supposed to be funny? Profit > Sales

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